Monday, November 28, 2005

National Health Care System

It's wonderful if you have health insurance and health care provided for you, but fewer people do as time goes on, and it's only going to get worse.

I'm normally a fan of market-based approaches to just about everything, but health care is one place where the market, in its current form, simply doesn't work.

Personally, since I'm self-employed, I have no health insurance, but I'm healthy and rarely have any serious "health issues". But few people are that lucky, and some day my luck may run out.

I'm not sure what form a national health care program should take, but as the old saying goes, where there's a will, there's a way, so let's get the will part settled and then we'll have a clear goal to focus on.

I don't anticipate a 100% national health care system, but simply a system where there's a per-person budget allocated to each person in the U.S. and you have a choice whether to opt-in to the national system or the opion of having your share of the health care budget applied to any private health care system of *your* choice. I can't see how 95% of the American people wouldn't say "Yeah, that's a good approach."

Just to get it started, maybe we could fund it as a national sales tax. Start simple, like covering regular physicals, common ailments, and modest hospital coverage, and then ramp it up as the economy digests the diversion of financial resources. And as the system gets more robust, existing government health programs can be folded in and we can switch more of the total national health funding from income tax to sales tax.

There are a lot of looming issues out there such as organ transplants, life extension, unnecessary prolonging of treatment for hopeless cases, etc., but the issues exist regardless of who funds them.

-- Jack Krupansky


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